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David Silbey

Adj. Associate Professor and Associate Director Cornell in Washington

Educational Background

  • BA, Cornell University
  • MA and Ph.D, Duke University



I specialize in the industrialized total wars of the 20th century and the asymmetric responses (guerrilla warfare, insurgency, and terrorism) to those wars that evolved after 1945. I have written books on the British Army in World War I, the Philippine-American War, and the Boxer Rebellion in China.


  • History


Military History


I've recently become the series editor for Cornell University Press' Battlegrounds: Cornell Studies in Military History

My 2018 publications are:

Kanisorn Wongsrichanalai and David Silbey, eds., Wars Civil and Great: A Comparative Analysis of the American Civil War and World War One (Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press, 2018).

My 2017 publications were:

"A Match is Nothing Without a Fuse; A Fuse is Nothing Without a Bomb: Starting Two Wars, 1898-1899" Foreign Policy Research Institute, May 2017  and,

"Alexander Hamilton, Soldier." MHQ : The Quarterly Journal of Military History 29, no. 3 (Spring, 2017): 38-45.